While most people would prefer to sleep in on the weekends, I woke bright and early on Saturday, March 4th and headed over to San Jose State University. I was pumped up and ready to go for the San Jose Area Writing Project's Parent Session. The topic for the day - persuasive writing. So what did we do engage parents with writing? Here's a little peek into the highlights of our morning!
First, we got parents involved in a warm-up activity. Here, Andrea and I invited parents to write their responses and thoughts on some debatable topics.
Once they got comfortable with one another, we led another activity where a statement was read out loud. Without talking (or conferring with their spouse), parents had to move to my right if their response was "Yes" and to my left of their response was "No." After parents moved to each side representing their response, parents were to verbally convince members of the opposing side to abandon their stance and switch sides. Looks can be deceiving; these parents were amicable but surprisingly lively during the debate!
One of the more powerful discussions that came out of this morning was the importance of our role as parents on how our children develop as critical and empathetic persuaders. We want our children to be able to take a stand and defend it, and at the same time to be respectful and considerate of opposing views. Our group read an article on how parents could foster active listening and open conversations. If we want our kids to argue articulately on paper, we should model healthy conversations and disagreements with our kids at home.
During the second half of our morning, we read mentor texts, wrote rough drafts, read each other's writings, listened to feedback, and then finished up our persuasive pieces before picking up the kids. Speaking of kids, take a look at them working in small groups with a writing teacher during their workshop.
So, are you ready to join us at our next session? Our next meeting on March 18 will be about Literary Essay. Register here and see you soon!
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